Grappling MMA Mats

Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats BJJ Training Mats infographicGreatmats’ brand Grappling MMA Mats are made of quality, durable ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam material that is designed for professional mixed martial arts (MMA) studio use at affordable prices. Our interlocking, reversible mats feature an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) 4-foot fall height rating for head injuries. These mats are designed to be used by professionals in mixed martial arts studios for grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Jiu Jitsu and Judo. These are the mats of choice for BJJ World Champions Rodrigo ”Comprido” Medeiros and Rafael Ellwanger as well as the South USA Grappling Association.

Our professional-grade mixed martial arts mats are easy to install and serve as economical interlocking grappling and MMA floors. Use our MMA mats for Judo, grappling, BJJ and Jiu Jitsu competitions or for training in your mixed martial arts studio. These MMA mats utilize an impressive interlocking EVA mat design for studios and home use. Having colors on both sides allows for multi-color designs in your facility. These grappling mats are 40 inches by 40 inches by 1-5/8-inch thick. These puzzle mats are designed to be used directly on any hard, flat surface without the need for additional padding.

Greatmats jiu jitsu mats for sale installed black and grayGreatmats’ 1 meter by 1 meter by 1-5/8-inch thick mats weight just 9 pounds per tile and are excellent choices for MMA floors, whether permanent or temporary. The included border strips add about 1/2 inch to the edge of the MMA mats. Our grappling mats are designed with a durable tatami mat top surface texture that will not give any skin burns while performing MMA moves. Greatmats MMA puzzle mats are used nationwide in professional studios and for competition floors. The dense Polyethylene (PE) and EVA foam materials are waterproof, lead free and latex free. Our grappling mats can be removed and cleaned inside or outside, but should be dry before laying back down.

Simply lay our kid-safe mixed martial arts mats down in the same direction and interlock the MMA mats together for a perfect fit every time. Measure twice and cut once using a sharp utility knife to make these grappling mats conform to your space for wall-to-wall installation. No adhesive is required. AlloGreatmats bjj puzzle mats tournament installationw your new grappling mats and MMA mats to acclimate to your room’s climate conditions prior to installation and allow a 1/2-inch gap around the perimeter of the room for the MMA mats to expand due to fluctuations in heat and humidity. Always avoid direct sunlight on the grappling mats as increased heat can cause expansion.

Our mixed martial arts mats are designed for use with bare feet. Soft martial arts shoes can be worn, but they may scuff your MMA mats.

Interlocking MMA mats by Greatmats have been installed in hundreds of professional martial arts facilities nationwide and receive outstanding reviews as the best interlocking MMA mat in the market at unbeatable prices.

Greatmats mixed martial arts mats are available in black/gray, red/blue, and black/green reversible colors. Color tone variations can and will most likely occur within the same batch of mats, even mats that are made at the factory within minutes of each other can vary in color. This is common with all interlocking EVA foam mats.Greatmats bjj mats martial arts mats red blue

‘Color coming off’ issue is not uncommon with puzzle mats. ┬áThis is common with puzzle mats of all types. We find that red and black are the most susceptible colors to this issue. This is when coloring of the mats comes off on feet and uniforms.

Border Edges

Greatmats grappling mma mats bjj border edgesRamped border strips are available as an accessory to your MMA mats and are available in gray only. The ramps are sold separately as a set of two. Corner pieces are not available. The tatami pattern will always run the long way on the ramp and may not match the texture pattern direction on your floor.

Tile Size:

  • Side to side with border strips attached 41 x 41 inches
  • Outside to outside of interlocking tabs 40.25 x 40.25 inches
  • Outside to inside of interlocking tabs 39.375 x 39.375 inches
  • Measurements may fluctuate if tiles are heated and expand

 

Installation & Maintenance

Greatmats grappling mat martial artsBe sure to clean your mats regularly with a vacuum (after testing the vacuum on the tiles to make sure it does not damage your martial arts flooring). Use a damp mop with diluted Pinesol and hot water as needed. Spot clean using a scrubby and a sponge. A walk behind auto cleaning machine is recommended for cleaning this flooring in large commercial areas.

Allow an approximately 1/2-inch gap around the perimeter of your room during installation to allow for mat expansion which can occur with fluctuations in heat and humidity. Keep direct sunlight off the mats if possible as this can heat them up and cause expansion.

Ordering

Our MMA mats come with a 1-year limited warranty. Request a free sample of our MMA mat for your review and testing, or request a price quote online. Use our online floor plan designer to layout your new mixed martial arts floor using Greatmats grappling and MMA mats.

Color tone variations can and will most likely occur within the same batch of mats. Even mats that are made at the factory within minutes of each other can vary in color. This is common with all interlocking EVA foam mats.

Greatmats grappling mats puzzle mats redGreatmats bjj mats for sale puzzle martial arts matsGreatmats BJJ MMA Foam Tiles interlockingGreatmats Mats MMA Training Puzzle MatsGreatmats Puzzle Mats BJJ TrainingGreatmats Grappling MMA Mats BJJ puzzle mats

Greatmats grappling mats tournament installed

Greatmats mats mma studio green and gray puzzle mats

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Home MMA BJJ Mats 1-5/8 Inch

Home Martial Arts Mats for BJJ, Grappling and MMA

Greatmats BJJ Mats 2x2 foot 1-5/8 inchGreatmats’ Home MMA BJJ Mats are the perfect way to convert your garage, basement, or other home space into a studio of your very own. Practice jiu-jitsu and wrestling in the comfort of your own home to get a leg up on the competition.

Consider these mats for use with MMA studios, home grappling areas, BJJ workouts and mixed martial arts training.

Benefits of Home MMA BJJ Mats

  • Convert virtually any home space into a practice studio of your very own
  • Practice anytime that you want, and save on travel and studio sessions
  • Make the most of your lessons by practicing your skills at home
  • Keep yourself safe with these Jiu-Jitsu Mats for home
  • Install the floor in minutes thanks to the easy foam tile installation and interlocking tile design
  • Create a finished, attractive space by using the two edge pieces that come with each tile
  • Practice in comfort, since the durable tatami top texture does not create rug burns
  • Make the most of this anti-fatigue, lead free, and latex free safe practice space
  • Expand, move, and alter your floor as needed
  • Enjoy the reassurance of a 1-year limited warranty

Greatmats Home MMA BJJ Mats 1-5/8 inch infographic

Home Studios

Greatmats Home BJJ Mats installed black and grayPut BJJ mats to work for you in your own home practice studio. With these BJJ mats for home, you can practice on the same professional quality mats that you use at the dojo. These 2×2 foot mats interlock like a puzzle for easy and secure installation that you can do yourself. Specifically designed for the abuse that comes with MMA training and competition, these mats are durable and are the perfect way to outfit your home studio for years to come.

The BJJ mat is used is by world champion BJJ fighters and professional MMA coaches/trainers such as 7-time world BJJ champion Rodrigo ‘Comprido’ Medeiros, who has coached the likes of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, current UFC welterweight Demian Maia and 11-time world champion Caio Terra.

Greatmats MMA Mats for home BJJ grapplingBJJ mats for home are a full 1-5/8 inches thick for plenty of shock absorption. They feature a durable tatami, no-burn surface texture which offers just the right amount of grip for footwork without causing rug burns. You can roll easily without sliding, and the slight grip helps to keep you from getting caught as you move.

If you’ve ever wanted a home studio of your own, need a safe practice space, or just want a home grappling area so that you can practice with friends or family, these Jiu-Jitsu mats for home are an affordable, practical and safe solution. They are specifically made for use with the grappling arts: Judo, Jiu Jitsu and MMA.

Choose from two color options: red/blue or black/gray combinations. These mats are double-sided and double-colored, so you can reverse them to create a dual-color design in your own home. While each mat comes with two edge pieces so that you can create a polished, clean edge, these mats can also be installed for a wall-to-wall fit. Simply cut them with a sharp utility knife. These puzzle mats BJJ can be installed on any hard, flat surface, even concrete.

Greatmats BJJ puzzle mats home useThe BJJ mats for home are suitable for both soft martial arts shoes and for bare feet. They are made from EVA high density foam. Completely waterproof, these durable mats will last you for years to come.

At 2×2 feet, the square mats are conveniently sized. They can ship via ground delivery instead of freight, saving you money and resulting in a faster delivery. These mats can also be easily stored in a closet, making them perfect for home use.

There’s no beating the convenience of having your own MMA studio in your home, and these BJJ mats allow you to create your own practice space at an economical price. With a studio of your own, you can practice in comfort. Your own practice space gives you a chance to work on the skills that you learn during lessons, so you can progress more rapidly with your training. Practice your skills in the peace and quiet of your own home, or invite friends over to prepare for upcoming tournaments or promotions.

Greatmats Home Jiu Jitsu Mats installed in home gymA home studio provides the perfect opportunity to grapple with trained friends or family. Work on your skills when it’s convenient for you without worrying about studio hours or transportation needs. With a home MMA or BJJ gym, you’re not limited to hours of operation. If you’re competing, there’s no better way to maximize your chances of success than by having your very own studio right at home.

Don’t forget the safety advantages of taking the time to create your own MMA studio. Practicing Jiu-Jitsu without a specially designed space can be dangerous, and takedowns can result in injuries. Whether you want a safe space for your own practice or you need a space to keep the kids safe as they learn their own skills, these home MMA mats can help to prevent injury from takedowns and falls on surfaces that are too hard.

Professional Studios

Greatmats BJJ Puzzle Mats 2x2 foot interlockingDo you need additional practice space for your professional Jiu-Jitsu or MMA studio? These BJJ mats may be the perfect solution. Convert any space into a safe practice and sparring space quickly. Installation is easy and fast with the interlocking design. Within minutes, you can have an extra space to use during training, workshops, or other events.

Looking for something larger for a professional studio? Our 1×1 meter Grappling MMA mats offer the same professional quality foam on a larger scale.

Home Gym Areas

Greatmats home grappling mats home gym spaceWe’ve had plenty of customers use these Jiu Jitsu mats in their home gym spaces. The mats create a cushioned workout space. If you will be doing floor exercises like crunches, these mats will take the sting and pressure out of exercising on hard floors. Home MMA BJJ mats also help to absorb some of the sound generated during workouts, making for a more enjoyable home gym space.

Please note that these BJJ mats are not intended for use with free weights, as dropped weights can damage the mats.

Installation

Greatmats Jiu Jitsu Mats 2x2 foot 1-5/8 inch InterlockingUnsure of just how many tiles you need, or how to create that perfect design? Give Greatmats’ Online Floor Plan Designer/Estimator a try. This online tool will help you to calculate just how much footing you need while minimizing the amount of material that may be wasted. It’s a great way to maximize your savings.

Before installing these jiu jitsu puzzle mats, let them acclimate to the room for 48 hours. Remove them from the carton so that they can fully adjust to the heat and humidity conditions. This will help eliminate struggles with expansion and contraction that is common with foam flooring.

Installing these home BJJ mats is easy and can be done without any professional help. These might be the easiest form of flooring to install. Begin with a clean floor, and start in a corner. Push the tiles together like a puzzle, working your way out from the corner until you can no longer fit full tiles. If you do not want to create a wall-to-wall mat, then simply add on the edge pieces for a clean, finished exterior at this point.

Greatmats BJJ Mats for Sale 1-5/8 inch thickWhen performing wall-to-wall installations, leave an approximately 1/2 inch gap around the perimeter of the room. This gap allows for the mats to expand, which can happen with fluctuations in heat and humidity. Measure the remaining distance between the tiles and the wall, and cut the remaining tiles to fit using a straight edge and utility knife. The tiles fit together like a puzzle, and you won’t need any glue or extra tools.

Precautions

Greatmats Jiu Jitsu Mats for Home Interlocking GrayWe recommend keeping direct sunlight off of the home jiu jitsu mats, since it can cause expansion. Additionally, steam cleaning the mats can cause them to expand.

These BJJ mats for home are designed for use with bare feet or soft shoes only. These mats are not rated for commercial use in high traffic areas.

Please note: Color tone variations can, and will most likely, occur within the same batch of mats. Even mats that are made at the factory within minutes of each other can vary in color. This is common with all foam puzzle mats.

Maintenance

Greatmats Grappling Mats 2x2 foot 1-5/8 inch RedCleaning these mats is easy. The mats can be mopped with common household floor cleaners. Avoid using bleach. If you need to vacuum the mats, test the vacuum on an inconspicuous area before using it on the rest of the mat.

Shipping

BJJ mats for home ship in cartons via ground service to your door. For larger orders, products may ship via freight delivery. This product ships UPS Ground, FedEx Ground, and/or Freight.

Please review our shipping disclaimer.

Greatmats puzzle mats BJJ Red Blue Interlocking

 

Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros – World Champion Competitor and Coach

Elite BJJ Competitor and MMA Coach Sets Foundation on Greatmats

By Brett Hart

Comprido BJJ Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros Greatmats Martial Arts MatsIn the world of Brazilan Jiu Jitsu, there aren’t many who’ve accomplished more than Rodrigo ”Comprido” Medeiros. A seven-time world champion and two-time world absolute black-belt champion, Comprido set two records in his 1999 IBJJF Absolute Black Belt World Championship final against then 3-time defending World Champion Roberto ”Roleta” Magalhaes.

BJJ Medal Comprido BJJ Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros GreatmatsComprido shocked the BJJ world by not only submitting Roleta, but doing it in just 18 seconds, marking the first ever submission at absolute black belt, and the 18-second fight is still the fastest submission in a black belt world championship final.

Both fighters went on to claim their fourth world titles the following year – Roleta in his weight class and Comprido in absolute.

Comprido’s dominance spilled over from the IBJJF to the CBJJO, where he claimed three more world titles over the next six years.

In 2006, Comprido, who also has background in judo, taekwondo and kickboxing, began training UFC fighters. Among those fighters was WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, who was looking to turn mixed martial arts into his third professional sport (football being the other).

Greatmats

rodrigo-grappling-matAfter Comprido guided Lesnar to a UFC Heavyweight title, Lesnar convinced Comprido to open his own academy, and in 2011, Comprido BJJ was born.

At that time Comprido discovered Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats and fell in love with their firmness, impact absorption and no-burn tatami surface.

Six years later, Comprido is still using Greatmats at his Academy, not just for flooring but for wall padding as well.

”One thing I like is that the mats are very firm,” Comprido said of his interlocking 1 5/8 inch thick Greatmats Grappling MMA mats. ”It doesn’t matter if I’m close to the seam or in the center of the mat. My foot doesn’t sink.”

That safety factor has been critical for his continued use of Greatmats Martial Arts Flooring.

Comprido BJJ Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros Greatmats Martial Arts Puzzle Mats”I’m in the business of teaching jiu jitsu,” he said. ”I’m not in the business to hurt people. If your foot sinks into the mat, that’s not good. Your foot will twist. I don’t want to have to worry if my student is going to get hurt on the mats.”

”It’s very important for the mats to be firm and make you stable where you can shoot any time you want to go. You can trust that your leg’s going to be in the right position – that your foot is going to be in the right position.”

”On top of that, the cushion is nice,” he added. ”You don’t get hurt when you do takedowns, but on the other hand, your foot doesn’t get stuck in there.”

The modular nature of the mats is also helpful from a design perspective, Comprido said, noting that you can make fight areas or rings in your academy that are highly visible.

Continued Prominence

Comprido BJJ Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros grappling Greatmats Martial Arts MatsComprido, who recently promoted Lesnar to his blue belt in BJJ, was also honored in is own right, being named No. 6 on the list of top 10 Ultra Heavyweight BJJ Fighters of All Time compiled by BJJ Heroes.

More than 20 years after winning his first world championship, Comprido still competes – in the Masters Division, and in March 2017, he was crowned the 2017 IBJJ PanAm Champion after defeating his good friend Viktor Doria who currently ranks No. 6 among male Master 2 black belts in the IBJJF rankings.

”I still fight because I like it,” Comprido said. ”I have nothing else to prove. Now my goal is helping other people to achieve their dreams.”

Notable Students of Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros

  • Brock Lesnar (former UFC Heavyweight Champion)
  • Demian Maia (ADCC World Champion, UFC Welterweight)
  • Cole Konrad (retired Bellator Heavyweight Champion, 2010-2012)
  • Caio Terra (11-time BJJ World Champion)
  • Roberto Traven (2-time BJJ World Champion)
  • Felipe Costa (2-time BJJ Black Belt World Champion, 4-time Master World Champion)
  • Pat Berry (UFC Heavyweight)
  • Chris Tuchscerer (UFC Heavyweight)
  • Mike Russow (Professional Mixed Martial Artist and Police Officer)
  • Jessica Buchman (BJJ World Champion)
  • Dean Lister (2-time ADCC Champion)

 

Rodrigo Comprido Medeiros
Comprido BJJ
Bloomingdale IL
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.

Groundbreaking Wing Chun Instructor Expands Expertise over Greatmats

Chris Damiano Builds Academy into One of the Best in Gulf Coast

By Brett Hart

After 32 years in martial arts, Sifu Chris Damiano has been round the world honing his skills in everything from wrestling to Hapkido to Judo, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Jeet Kune Do and has developed a strong understanding of what works for him and his students.

A Chicago native, Sifu Damiano originally moved to Florida because he needed training partners. Soon he was teaching others how to be his training partners.

Chris Damiano owner Centerline Martial Arts Greatmats Grappling Mats

Wing Chun
In 1994, he narrowed his focus exclusively to Wing Chung and six years later traveled to Hong Kong to study with Grandmaster Ip Ching, the second eldest son of Bruce Lee’s mentor Ip Man. Damiano later became an instructor under Ip Ching, opening Centerline Martial Arts out of his garage in Destin, Florida in 2000. A contractor during the day, Sifu Damiano finally opened Centerline as a full-time martial arts academy in 2007. He quickly became one of the most sought after instructors in the Gulf Coast and was named the USA International Black Belt Hall of Fame’s 2013 Wing Chun Instructor of the Year.

Damiano now also has academies underneath his banner in St. Louis, Boston and Las Vegas.

Chris Damiano Centerline Martial Arts Greatmats Grappling Mats

Jiu Jitsu
Over the last four years, Damiano has added Gracie Jiu Jitsu to his repertoire, studying under fellow 30-plus year martial artist Sensei Brandon Hetzler, who has achieved black belts of varying degrees in Fudoshin Taijutsu, Goju-Ryu, Shito-Ryu and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Sifo Damiano still splits his time between his contracting work and martial arts, teaching three days per week, but with other instructors, the academy is used 5-6 days per week.

centerline-martial-arts-chris-damiano8

The Need for Mats
With his current academy being located in the second story of an office building and his teaching expanding beyond Wing Chun to striking/kickboxing and jiu jitsu, he quickly discovered that concrete flooring was no longer suitable for his practices.

That’s when he discovered Greatmats martial arts floors. One of his friends with a big Karate school told him about Greatmats, and Hetzler, who has used Greatmats flooring in his home dojo for six years, both highly recommended Greatmats to Sifu Damiano.

In 2012, Damiano equipped his academy with Greatmats 20 mm inch thick martial arts mats and a pro pole pad. While he was happy with the quality of the mats, they proved to be too thin for his judo and jiu jitsu work – especially in the kids classes. So he ordered three of Greatmats’ 2 inch thick 4×10 foot folding mats to add more cushion for those exercises.

Centerline Martial Arts Chris Damiano Greatmats MMA Grappling Mats

Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats
In 2015, he upgraded to Greatmats’ 1 5/8 inch thick Grappling MMA Mats, with a no burn tatami surface and 4-foot critical fall height rating, and sold off his 7/8 inch mats to students for garage workout areas.

”These mats are not as taxing on the body for what I’m doing now,” Sifu Damiano said. ”I love those mats! My school’s completely covered in it except for my back room.”

With approximately 20 students per class and 45 of his 60 students being adults, the mats are regularly put to the test.

”Those mats get an awful lot of use every night,” He added. ”The overall quality of those mats are great. They’re durable. We usually do 45 minutes of technique and eight 5-minute rounds of sparring/grappling. We always start standing. Using wrestling takedowns or judo takedowns, three rounds of kickboxing and three rounds of kickboxing with takedowns. I love that tatami top.”

Pole Padding
The Grappling MMA mats have eliminated his need for the folding mats, but added that the pole pad is still a ”very needed piece” in his school, noting that it is often used as a circuit training tool.

”People use it to train on; kids kick it,” Sifu Damiano said. ”Sometimes I use that to line them up, and they can do some of their striking on that as part of the stations.”

A believer in ”time put in equals skill,” Sifu Damiano has definitely put in his time, and for the last five years, that time has been put in over Greatmats martial arts floors.

Centerline Martial Arts class on Greatmats Grappling MMA Mats and Greatmats Pole Paddding
Chris Damiano
Centerline Martial Arts
Destin FL 32550
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.

Jim Fiore – Centering life through Jiu Jitsu

Taekwondo Black Belt rounding out game with BJJ

By Brett Hart

A lifelong athlete, Jim Fiore, age 40, of Biloxi Mississippi, has done everything from backpacking to marathons to rock climbing and martial arts. A former university researcher and personal trainer, he is a World Taekwondo Federation blackbelt, but found his calling in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Jim Fiore AGF grappling tournament Greatmats

”I remember, I was a red belt or a brown belt in taekwondo and there was a jiu jitsu school down the street,” Fiore said. ”I remember my taekwondo instructor being like ‘This is really good stuff. We’re going to start integrating grappling into your second-degree program.”’

Intrigued by that notion, Fiore visited the school to see what it was all about.

”My understanding 10 years ago of the martial arts was – if you’re a black belt, you should be able to handle yourself, regardless. You’re a black belt. … I remember going in there, and I got my butt handed to me by a young man anywhere from 16 to 18. I was like ‘What the heck just happened to me. Here I am almost a black belt in taekwondo and I don’t know anything about the martial arts.’ My pride got the best of me.”

With failure not being an option, Fiore finished his journey to black belt in Taekwondo under Master Antulio Garza, and started pursuing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu without question.

”More and more I just realized the false sense of security I had,” he said. ”It just got to a point where I was training more and more and more in jiu jitsu and just kind of fell in love with it. Eight years later, here I am running a school and a brown belt (in Judo and Jiu Jitsu). … I just love the grappling arts. I love judo. I’ve been fortunate to practice taekwondo and learn how to strike fairly well. … Plus, it’s just really cool to fight somebody and not get in trouble for it.”

As the manager for American Martial Art Academy for three years, Fiore focuses his school on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu while incorporating concepts of judo, sambo and wrestling, under the Soul Fighters BJJ Association umbrella.

He draws upon his training from Soul Fighter BJJ Black Belts Erick Raposo, Marcus Antelante, Bruno Mendes, and Rafael Formiga Barbosa.

Jim Fiore and Erick Raposo at American Martial Art Academy Mississippi Greatmats

Adaptation

”My wife’s in the military, so I’ve kind of had to adapt to where we live,” Fiore said. ”I actually have a masters in microbiology and biotechnology and so I was a researcher several years at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine… Once we moved to San Antonio, down to Lackland Air Force Base, then I switched over to personal training. I’ve always kind of had this battle between brain and brawn. My brawn finally kind of won.”

Tapping into his entrepreneurial spark and new-found passion for jiu jitsu, Fiore had earned a high enough rank and enough capital that he felt comfortable opening his own school by the time he and his wife had moved to Mississippi three years ago.

His instincts were on point, and his school quickly outgrew its original space, so he moved it to a new 2,500 square foot location where he now has 1,100 square feet of mats. Fiore was recently even able to bring in a black belt of his own to teach the classes.

”I met our head professor here, Erick Raposo, out at IBJJF World Masters,” Fiore said. ”He and I hit it off. I brought him up here from Brazil, got him his green card. Now he’s our head professor here. That was one of the best business decisions that I’ve made. … There’s something just genuine when you have a black belt teaching all of your classes.”

That decision also gave Fiore more opportunities to focus on competition and coaching.

”When I go to compete… it gives me that drive to keep going. It inspires me to bring back that resilience to my students,” he said. ”I definitely want to try to win IBJJF world master at some point.”

Jim Fiore grappling at AGF tournament Greatmats

Competing in the American Grappling Federation

Fiore and his team recently competed in a pair of Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation tournaments in Jackson, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana. In fact, he won his absolute division and his school brought home the trophy from Jackson.

”Being here for 2 solid plus years and winning a major regional tournament is huge for my school,” he said, noting that the tournament also improved his competitive skills.

After winning his division in New Orleans, Fiore received a compliment from AGF co-founder Brandon Quick he’ll never forget.

”Today, you demonstrated why you are a brown belt,” Quick said.

”To hear another black belt that I respect say that to me, that was one of my proudest moments,” Fiore recalled.

”I will send my guys to an AGF tournament all the time,” Fiore added. ”I don’t have any reservations about the safety, my guys having fun at that tournament, the efficiency of the tournament or finishing on time…. They’re always bettering the competition not only for the competitors but also the coaches and the spectators. They’re truly listening to everybody. .. They understand sometimes the financial restrictions of families. … A white belt has more opportunity to become a better fighter in AGF.”

”When I was fighting AGF, it was actually setting me up very nicely to fight IBJJF as a brown belt,” he added. ”I’m a lot more comfortable now going to IBJJF or other tournaments.”

Jim Fiore on podium AGF 2017 Jackson BJJ Championships Greatmats

Centering

”Without jujitsu, my life would really probably be pretty crummy,” he added. ”It tells you the type of person you are. … The overall camaraderie, the support, the brotherhood is infectious. No matter how good you are, that mat will just humble you every single day. … The amount of heart and perseverance that you need to have to come in here and have your butt handed to you every single day, man that makes life outside so much easier. It just centers my life.”

That’s something much needed as he and his wife are expecting a daughter in September.

”I’m looking forward to having her on the mat with us in a couple years,” Fiore said.

When that happens, three generations of Fiore’s will don the jiu jitsu gi, as Jim’s father is currently a two-stripe white belt at the age of 67.

”He and I have done a lot of things together throughout our lives,” Jim said. ”It’s increased our bond together. It’s really fun to have your dad or your son or your daughter on the mat with you.”

Jim Fiore BJJ Greatmats

To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.

Jim Fiore
American Martial Art Academy
D’lberville MS
For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page

Cerebral Palsy Won’t Stop BJJ Fighter Nick Turnbo

Missouri teen inspired to overcome challenges through Jiu Jitsu

By Brett Hart

”Fight” is something Nick Turnbo has had from the very beginning. Born 12 weeks early, Turnbo weighed in at just 1 pound 6 ounces and spent his first three weeks of life on a ventilator and feeding tube. In his first 2 1/2 months, he more than tripled in weight and was strong enough to go home.
Nick Turnbo at St Louis BJJ Championships AGF Greatmats
By 8 months old, he was back on the ventilator and feeding tube for two weeks due to a case of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). Living with Cerebral Palsy, his next 14 years included surgeries on his eyes, spine, heel cords and hamstring.

Despite needing a walker, in the last year, Nick, now age 19, has become a fighter in more traditional sense, as he began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and under the tutelage of Mike Rogers and Matt Ricehouse of St. Charles MMA (SCMMA) in St. Charles, Missouri, and weight training under the direction of Sam Richardson.

”It’s no surprise to me that Nick takes on the physical challenges that he does,” said his mom, Patty.

Nick Turnbo and Mike Rogers Greatmats

Inspiration
Nick first became interested in MMA after watching his friend, Johnny Cox, fight locally.

”I sat cage side and almost felt I was a part of the fight,” Nick said after watching Cox fight for the first time. ”They were so close, I swear I felt sweat from the fighters hit my face. I was hooked.”

At that point, he sought out more fights to watch on television and in person.

”I recall watching my first Bellator fight – Michael Chandler vs. Patricky Pitbull (Freire) 2011,” Nick said.

Chandler, an alumnus of Nick’s high school, Northwest High School, defeated Freire by unanimous decision to improve his pro record to 8-0 and earn a title shot against Eddie Alvarez – which he won six months later by a rear-naked choke.

”It was so exciting to see a hometown boy make it big!,” Nick said.

Chandler even reached out to Nick later, giving him floor seats to his June 24, 2016, rematch with Freirie at Bellator 157, at which he knocked out Freire with a punch to claim the title once again.

”(Chandler) even came to my seat after winning the Lightweight Belt,” Turnbo said.

Nick Turnbo BJJ fighter with cerebral palsy Greatmats

Training begins
In December 2014, Nick sought out Richardson’s help for MMA training.

”I began training two times a week, grappling and hitting the mitts,” Nick said. ”I was learning all the submissions and moves I had seen my favorite fighters do. Sam showed me that I could do it; he gave me the motivation I need to get off the couch and get rollin’!”

Then at one of the local fights, he met Rogers, a second-degree black belt in BJJ under Rodrigo Vaghi with a background in boxing and wrestling as well.

Nick Turnbo cerbral palsy BJJ fighter Rodrigo Vaghi

Nick told Rogers, ”My dream is to one day fight in the cage.”

So Rogers invited Nick to train with him at SCMMA and Nick jumped on the opportunity. In his first session at SCMMA, Nick worked with UFC flyweight Josh Sampo.

”BJJ is the best form of self defense because of all the ground techniques,” Nick said. It also has helped Nick with developing good eating and exercise habits.

Now a three-stripe white belt, Nick, working on his weight training and mitt work with Richardson, his technical BJJ with Rogers, and some additional training at Team Vaghi Headquarters in Ellisville, Mo., claimed first place in his division at the Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation (AGF) St. Louis BJJ Championships in St. Charles on July 15 – his first AGF tournament.

”It was not until my opponents tapped, did I realize the amount of cheering,” Nick said. ”It was a wonderful experience, and (I) cannot wait for the next AGF Tournament.

Even after Nick earned his first gold medal, Rogers said, ”Nick’s biggest accomplishment is BJJ so far is making the move to start and not stop. He’s done technique tests and passed everything. I like his enthusiasm and that he proves once again that BJJ is for everyone.”

Both Turnbo and Rogers are especially pleased with the AGF for providing organized competitions with strong competitors, team scoring and a pleasant staff.

”I never imagined MMA could be such an influence on my life,” Nick said. ”It is only through the overwhelming support and encouragement that I have been able to accomplish so much.”

american grappling federation logo greatmats

To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.

Nick Turnbo
St. Charles MMA
St. Charles MO 63303
For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page.

Magness BJJ wins 2017 AGF Dallas Summer Classic

Alvarez BJJ in Top 2 of Every Division

Almost 90 martial arts academies earned team points at the 2017 American Grappling Federation’s Dallas Summer Classic. The grappling tournament was held on August 5 at the NYTEX Sports Centre in North Richland Hills, Texas. The tournament was sponsored by Greatmats.

Magness BJJ climbed their way to the top of the overall team standings with 400 points. Alvarez BJJ followed closely behind with 371 points. BQuick JJ followed in third place with a total of 207 points.

Magness BJJ placed in the top 2 teams in three out of four divisions. They claimed the titles in the Adults No Gi and Kids No Gi divisions. They placed second in the Kids Gi division.

Alvarez BJJ claimed first in the Adults Gi and Kids Gi divisions and second in Adults No Gi and Kids No Gi divisions. Fortunately, for Magness BJJ was the fact that it held a 86 point lead in the Kids No Gi division.

All American MMA claimed thired in the Kids No Gi. BQuick JJ placed third in both adult divisions and Kids Gi division.

Top 10 Overall Team Scores

  • Magness BJJ 400
  • Alvarez BJJ 371
  • BQuick JJ 207
  • All American MMA 125
  • Genesis Jiu Jitsu 119
  • Guetho Texas 119
  • Lovato BJJ 117
  • Sandro Sampaio BJJ Academy 109
  • Frequency BJJ 89
  • Zombie BJJ 85

Kids BJJ tournament AGF Dallas 2017 GreatmatsKids No Gi BJJ tournament AGF Dallas 2017 GreatmatsKids BJJ tournament AGF Dallas 2017 GreatmatsBJJ tournament AGF Dallas 2017 Greatmatsadult BJJ tournament AGF Dallas 2017 Greatmats

To learn more about Greatmats-sponsored American Grappling Federation Tournaments and athletes visit Greatmats’ AGF Tournament Resource Page.

2017 Dallas Summer Classic
American Grappling Federation
North Richland Hills TX 76180
For more on this topic please review our Grappling and MMA Mats product page.